Data Viz Done Right

February 25, 2019

Makeover Monday: The Economic Value of the Bicycle Industry in the UK

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Spring is trying to peek out here in London. I saw so many people cycling in Richmond Park yesterday that I thought it was a good time to look at the state of cycling in the UK, focusing on the economic value.

Here's the original chart:


What works well?

  • Using a line chart for representing data over time
  • Minimal use of color
  • Y-axis is properly labeled
  • Including the sources

What could be improved?

  • The x-axis label is completely wrong.
  • The title needs to be more specific. As a standalone chart, we have no idea if this is about a country, a store, whatever.
  • Don't include all of the axis ticks between each of the quarters.
  • Remove the diamonds as markers for each point.
  • Change the units of measure on the y-axis to thousands.

My goals

  • Create something that's easy to understand.
  • Stick with the minimal use of color.
  • See if the change between periods is important. If so, what is changing and why?
  • Is there seasonality? If so, how is that seasonality changing?
  • Consider other metrics, like value added per bike. How does that change through time? What do the changes mean?

With those goals in mind, here is my Makeover Monday week 9 2019. I made value added per bike the primary focus of my viz to help explain that the downturn in the cycling industry is due to volume, not value added per bike.

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